Sam Charles

Communications Manager

School of Engineering
Office: EME4242
Phone: 250.807.8136


Sam started at the Okanagan campus of the University of British in 2013 as a Senior Media Production Specialist with UBC Studios Okanagan.  After four years in that role, he transitioned into the Communications Manager role with the School of Engineering.

At the School of Engineering, he is responsible for developing strategic communication materials that highlight the innovative research and experiential learning on the Okanagan campus.  Sam is energized by telling the endlessly inspiring stories of the School’s researchers, students and staff.

With over twenty years of experience in communications, film, television and radio production, Sam is a seasoned professional communicator focused on generating dynamic and engaging content.

Sam has represented Canada three-times at Summer World University Games as Team Canada’s videographer documenting the Games for international audiences.  On Friday nights during the varsity season, he is the play-by-play voice (and technical advisor) for UBC Okanagan Heat basketball and volleyball webcasts on


Integrated strategic communications including social media; Develop, design, and maintain communications content; Media relations; Issues Management; Develop and prepare faculty awards nominations


Ciana Dawydiuk-Clozza describes UBC Okanagan and the School of Engineering as being the perfect fit for her academic and athlete journey. By the tenth grade, Dawydiuk-Clozza knew that she wanted to pursue a career in engineering, but it was a severe injury to her knee that helped specify her interest in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering.

“Throughout my extensive rehabilitation, I was introduced to stem cell treatment, surgical technologies, medical devices used in physiotherapy clinics, and the design process behind braces,” says Dawydiuk-Clozza.

Aside from the Engineering program at UBC Okanagan, the opportunity to play for the varsity soccer team closed the deal.

“My experience at UBCO so far has been incredible. Engineering has been everything I was hoping it would be and more. I am surrounded by an incredible group of peers and have had some amazing professors.”

Dawydiuk-Clozza made the most of her first two years outside the classroom by volunteering with GoEngGirl and exploring the Okanagan. She is off to Japan with the School of Engineering later this summer to investigate what Japan has to offer both from a technological and cultural perspective. Along with hitting the pitch with the Heat varsity squad in September for her third season with the squad, she will also be entering her third year in Mechanical Engineering with the Biomedical option.

“Being a varsity athlete and balancing an Engineering course load is challenging, however the Academic Advisors have helped guide me through prerequisites and course conflicts with soccer season commitments.”

Entering her third year as a Stober Foundation Engineering Undergraduate Scholar, Dawydiuk-Clozza says the support from the scholarship is a game-changer. “I feel recognized for all the hard work I have put in to get to where I am today and feel supported in reaching my academic goals. Additionally, it helps relieve the financial burden of my undergraduate degree in a field I am extremely passionate about.”

With a goal of helping others experience a better quality of life after a diagnosis of disease or injury, Dawydiuk-Clozza plans on pursuing a Masters in Biomedical Engineering. “My dream would be to develop technology that advances the field of regenerative medicine, work with prosthetics, or even potentially 3D print ligaments to expedite the recovery process of injuries, like a torn ACL.”

For the time being, she is focusing on her studies and helping the Heat soccer program on the pitch.


Like a lot of students entering engineering, Alexis Guidi had an affinity for math and physics. “I loved math and physics, but I thought engineering was just building stuff with a dash of math,” says Guidi. What she came to realize was that engineering took her passion for math and physics to another level by applying those principles to solve real-world problems.

Guidi began her undergrad at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering in 2018; completing a BASc in Electrical Engineering. While she enjoyed her courses, it was a first-year electromagnetism course that sparked an interest in electrical engineering specifically optics and photonics.

“Initially in that course I was having trouble understanding the content, so I asked the professor (Dr. Jonathan Holzman) for help,” explains Guidi. Little did she know at the time, but that exchange with Dr. Holzman would lead her to where she is today.

After graduating with her undergraduate degree last spring, Guidi is now pursuing a MASc with Dr. Holzman as her supervisor in the Integrated Optics Laboratory. Her research focuses on analysing how terahertz frequencies interact with matter. To do this, she is developing a system that enables accurate identification and characterization of biological specimens, which could lead to more effective cancer detection.

“As I’ve progressed in my studies at UBC, I’ve realized I can help address biomedical problems that the scientific community faces.”

As the 2023 recipient of a Stober Foundation Graduate Award in Engineering, Guidi can further pursue this passion.

“I am so grateful to have received the Stober Foundation Graduate Award, and I believe that part of my academic success is owed to scholarships such as this one. One of the deciding factors for graduate school was the financial impact it would have on me—I love learning, but it does get stressful and discouraging to think about where funds for my degree will come from,” explains Guidi.

Guidi is considering fast-tracking into a Ph.D. program before 2024 allowing her to continue her research as she works towards becoming a professor of electrical engineering.

“With this award, my financial burden is greatly reduced, and this allows me to focus on my research wholeheartedly! The Stober Foundation is giving back to the community in an immeasurable way, and I hope to be able to do the same through my research.”




A second-place finish at an international competition is motivating a team made up of students from UBC Okanagan (UBCO) and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) to learn from their success to date and start preparing for next year’s competition.

“As a team, we learned to address problems as they arose through iterating and optimizing each phase of the design process,” says Zack Schmit, the electrical team co-lead. “To see the design project through from conception to completion was both challenging and rewarding and helped me to affirm my professional desires and goals.”

The Solar Decathlon challenges students to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings that mitigate climate change and improve our quality of life through greater affordability, resilience, and energy efficiency.

Schmit says the UBCO/TRU team earned a strong placing by keeping their design grounded in research, and by tailoring it to the specific environmental conditions in the area they’d based their design (Lytton, BC with a backdrop of the real danger posed by BC wildfires). The team says that by placing 2nd in this year’s competition, it has established itself as a serious competitor.

“Our success has attracted new members, industry partner connections and valuable networking opportunities,” says Samantha Krieg, the team’s captain. “Although all members had a chance to develop industry-relevant technical skills, I think that the most valuable experience is learning how to work with a team to execute a complex, multidisciplinary project with a significant time constraints.”

Placing second is also motivating the team knowing that they have what it takes to compete against the best in the world. “Coming in second shows that we have a great team and if we keep the same focus and commit next year we have a great chance at first place in whichever division we decide to compete in next year,” says Kody Palamerak, the mechanical team lead.

Palamerak says not only did the team members lead about general construction and project management, but the mechanical team also learned about specific components of the building design. “We took particular care in the design of our ductwork system to effectively move air through the building. This was interesting as there are many factors to consider like airflow rate, reducing ductwork design, and how to mitigate fire spread.”

The UBCO/TRU Solar Decathlon team was supported by the Innovate, Design, Sustain (IDS) Club at UBCO. IDS is UBCO’s first sustainability-focused design club, and has been very active this past year.

According to Krieg, the Solar Decathlon team is now turning their attention to the 2025 Build Challenge, which officially starts in September. It encompasses a 20-month competition to design and build a high-performance, resilient house designed with a team’s specific community in mind. The team is in the process of recruiting new student members who are passionate about green buildings.

For someone with limited mobility, tying their shoelaces can be challenging, but a new device developed by students at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering seeks to remove many of the barriers to completing the task.

‘Assistive Shoe Tying Device’ Team: Audrey Cunningham, Becker Salkeld, Kavneer Dhaliwal, Hisham Khan (missing from the image is Chase Anderson Hanaa Diab).

Inspired by ENGR 407 “Inclusive Design,” a group of classmates joined together in search of an inclusive/adaptable project. Working off a list of potential projects provided by Technology for Living. The team decided to seek out investigate ways to enable an individual with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) to tie their shoes.

“The individual we were working with was just as concerned about the aesthetics of the potential solution as they were on the functionality and ease-of-use,” explains Audrey Cunningham, the team lead of the “Assistive Shoe Typing Device” team. “We immediately noticed that most (if not all) the commercially available solutions required alterations to the shoe and it was fairly obvious that alterations were made.”

After some initial false-starts where they tried to create a device that enabled a user to tie their shoes in a traditional manner, the team sought out a process that was less complicated but more effective.

“We investigated what was already on the market and aimed to make it sleeker and easier to use, with no modifications to the shoes,” explains Becker Salkeld, who handled much of the CAD modelling and 3D printing aspects of the project.

Starting with a full hoop and hook system, the team tested amongst themselves, friends, and two young boys with autism. They discovered that the design applied too much pressure at the top of the foot, so they revised the prototype to include a half-circle instead of the full hoop.

The team couldn’t say enough about their faculty advisor, Dr. Sabine Weyand, who helped them navigate the design process. “Dr. Weyand has extensive knowledge about the design process, and biomedical applications, and she truly cares about the success of all her students and offers incredible support,” says team member Chase Anderson.

According to team member Hisham Khan, placing first in the Simon Cox Student Design Competition means a lot to the team. “We are particularly proud to know that our work and idea will have a positive impact in the assistive technology world, and hopefully help a great many people achieve some level of independence.”

“This entire project, and what we have learned in our inclusive design course, has inspired us all to continue incorporating inclusive design principles in all our future work, regardless of what area, as inclusive design is human design, and is important to consider in all aspects of engineering design,” says Kavneer Dhaliwal, the fifth member of the team.

“We were pleased to present the Simon Cox Principal award to the ShoeLace Hook team from UBCO as their project was ‘simply effective’,” says Wayne Pogue, team Llead of Biomedical Engineering at Technology for Living. “Not only does it create a simpler way for someone with a physical disability to tighten their shoes, their universal design makes it useful for large portions of the population as it is fully customizable, free to download, and inexpensive to 3D print.”

For now, the team is preparing for convocation in June, and turning their attention to searching for jobs, but that hasn’t dulled their enthusiasm for inclusive design and assistive technology.

“A few of us also hope to continue work in the assistive technology arena, and utilize what we have learned in all our career choices,” says Cunningham.

Learn more about the Technology for Living and the Simon Cox Award at


It has been almost three years since a group of dedicated engineering students decided to launch a design club focused on sustainable solutions. Since then, Innovate, Design, Sustain (IDS) has been building upon the momentum those founding members established.

“We started at the beginning of pandemic with an idea that we could bring together what we’d been learning in class and help develop sustainable applications on campus,” says Sayra Gorgani, one of the founding members and an electrical engineering undergraduate student who graduates in June.

Since the outset, IDS hasn’t wavered in their enthusiasm towards sustainability and protecting the environment. The club has been focused on bringing clean-energy and efficient waste management design solutions across the Okanagan campus. In the past year alone, their successes include hosting a sustainability industry night featuring 15 companies, developing several campus waste initiatives, and participation in the Solar Bench and Solar Decathlon competitions.

“The success we had with IDS has reinforced our belief that every student can make a difference when it comes to sustainability and making the world a better place,” says Gorgani.

At February’s Sustainability Industry Night, participants were able to learn from professionals in different areas of sustainability and explore cutting-edge technologies taking place in the field. “IDS and Engineering Society’s first Sustainability Industry Night symbolized our club’s drive towards making an industry-wide impact, while giving students a unique platform to connect with the best in the field of sustainability,” explains Ruwaida Rashid, VP Events at IDS.

Along with the UBC Facilities team, IDS members helped conduct waste audits and several surveys to identify the challenges facing the Okanagan campus when it comes to contamination of the campus’ waste stream. IDS played an important role in re-designing the waste sorting visuals on campus from icons and to photos in an effort to clarify sorting requirements. “The new waste disposal designs in the Commons testify that when given a platform like IDS, student ideas can lead to a more sustainable and cleaner campus,” says Lakshay Karnwal, a team lead at IDS.

Members of IDS have also participated in student competitions related to sustainability. These collaborations include the Solar Bench Project and the Solar Decathlon Design Competition. The Solar Bench Project Team, supported in part by the Professional Activities Fund (PAF), successfully developed a system prototype. The joint UBCO/TRU Solar Decathlon Design Team is a finalist in the international competition. The Solar Decathlon competition challenges student teams to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings that mitigate climate change and improve our quality of life through greater affordability.

As the academic year ends, IDS’s focus continues to be bringing value to students of all faculties, programs and year-levels through unique professional development opportunities related to sustainability.

“Joining the IDS Solar Bench Project has allowed me to feel like I’m having a positive impact on the campus community, and has helped me find a group of friends and colleagues that share a passion for sustainability and building a better tomorrow,” says the Solar Bench lead Kurtis Dezall.

After five busy years completing his undergraduate degree and conducting undergraduate research, Noah Dietrich (BASc, Civil ‘18) was ready to jump into the workforce. He had briefly considered continuing in his research and pursuing a Masters in environmental engineering with a focus on microbiology, but instead decided to explore the job market.

Having grown up in Kelowna, Dietrich recalls closely following the many development projects at the Kelowna International Airport since he was in middle school. “I’ve always been interested in flying and airports, so I started searching for engineering jobs related to aviation.” Dietrich holds three nationalities (German, American, and Canadian), so his search extended well beyond the Okanagan. He ended up interviewing with companies in California and Washington State before he decided on a job at Tetra Tech, an engineering consulting firm who have an office in Kelowna.

Among their clients, Tetra Tech provides consulting services to airports across Canada as well as internationally. As an Airport Project Engineer-in-Training, Dietrich found his passion which just so happened to align the skills and knowledge he acquired while completing his civil engineering degree. “The role consisted of designing and managing projects including cost forecasts, scheduling, budgeting, contract administration, and performing site inspections. I worked closely with our clients and served as an intermediary between contractors and the airport to complete projects.”

“I was able to expand upon a lot of the knowledge that I had acquired in my project management, transportation, material science, water, and geotechnical courses at UBCO.”

While he enjoyed the majority of the job, there were some challenges associated with working in consulting. “Consulting has a particular focus on maintaining certain profit margins which can influence the management of projects.” However, those challenges were offset by the relationships he built with clients and contractors working on projects at multiple airports throughout British Columbia.

“I started recognizing that I really enjoyed the project management and contract administration aspects of aviation projects, and realized that I would love to eventually work as a project manager at an airport.”

Like many in the Spring of 2020, Dietrich found himself laid off due to the pandemic. He started interviewing at other firms and had job offers from developers and general contractors, but eventually returned to Tetra Tech.

Dietrich continued to work on airport projects as an Airport Project Engineer-in-Training, including multiple projects at Kelowna International Airport. In November 2021, he was given permission to work remotely from Virginia to spend time with his grandfather who was in the final stage of his life. His grandfather passed away two weeks after he got there, and instead of heading directly back to Kelowna, Dietrich decided to head to Florida for some sun and a little break.

When he got there, he heard about a flight school located in Naples. The school wasn’t cheap, but he had started setting aside a down payment for a house in Kelowna, and used that to pay for lessons and get his private pilot’s license. “It’s a dream that I always had, and it is an amazing, thrilling feeling to fly an airplane.”

Dietrich was enjoying Florida so much that he started looking for a new job. He applied for a variety of jobs including a role at the Naples Airport. Eventually, he landed a job working for a general contractor as a project engineer and site superintendent where he worked on a major renovation of a golf course facility as well as construction of a multimillion-dollar Ritz-Carlton Residences sales gallery and showroom. It was months later that the airport followed up, and he eventually was offered the role as Project Manager of Airport Development. “The Naples Airport team liked my civil engineering education and airport project engineering background as well as the fact that I knew their airport so well having completed my private pilot’s license program at the airport.”

He started in January 2023.

Today, Dietrich works with a small team that manages a variety of projects at the airport. Typically, there are close to 30 different projects on the go, all at various stages.

“Current projects we are working on include new hangars, airfield lighting and navigational aids, taxiway projects, runway projects, stormwater drainage projects, hangar door projects, fuel projects, noise monitoring projects, apron projects, electrical projects, interior and exterior terminal building renovations, security fencing, security cameras, and hurricane mitigation.”

The role also includes developing funding applications through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Naples Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the United States, seeing up to approximately 400 private jet takeoffs and landings per day, in addition to the piston powered general aviation and flight school traffic.

According to Dietrich, it was a smooth progression from his studies at UBC Okanagan and work at Tetra Tech to where he is today. “I felt I was well-prepared to enter the workforce after graduating. A lot of courses were very helpful and relevant to civil engineering consulting, construction, and project management. The courses at the School of Engineering had many group projects, which proved to be an invaluable experience as through these projects I learned time management techniques, how to work efficiently on multiple projects at once, and how to work well with diverse teams. I would definitely recommend the School of Engineering to anybody; especially now that it has an aerospace program option – I am really excited to hear about this new program as aviation is an exciting and diverse industry.”

When he started at the School of Engineering, he never imagined that he’d be where he is today. “I would have imagined myself maybe doing city planning, traffic engineering, or something similar, but I am so happy where I am today.”

When he looks out the window of his office, and images the future, Dietrich says he sees a lot of opportunities to grow right where he is. “The Naples Airport really strives for excellence and is one of the nicest general aviation airports in the US. They treat their employees very well, so with the work I’m doing now and can do in the future, I don’t see myself leaving any time soon.”


Aquam Solis is among three UBC Okanagan teams who advanced to the final round of this year’s Hackathon that sought solutions to three of the world’s most pressing issues: hunger, clean water, and good health.

Aquam Solis designed a solution to address clean water and sanitation. The team of engineering students was inspired and motivated through their first-year design courses: APSC 169 Fundamentals of Sustainable Engineering Design and APSC 171 Engineering Drawing and CAD/CAM. The courses teach students about the engineering design process, project lifecycle, professional responsibility, rapid prototyping, dimensioning and tolerances, and computer-aided design and modelling.

The team developed a portable filtration device to purify water during extreme flooding events. The device floats on top of the water and cleans water through a passive system. The solution is scalable, affordable and easy-to-use.

Team Aquam Solis consists of first-year engineering students Gavin Prince-Badke, Wyatt Burnett, Gloria Lembo, Teela Moore, and Jaiden Bednar.

Learn more about the World Engineering Day Hackathon at

Despite harsh conditions and a small workforce, new research from UBC Okanagan suggests Augmented Reality (AR) could improve the efficiency of remote construction projects.

In a paper that was recently nominated for best paper at the 22nd International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, PhD student Kantheepan Yogeeswaran and Assistant Professor Qian Chen have designed a solution to upskill labour in remote communities.

“In recent years, there has been a shift toward prefabrication construction in remote areas but the shift can impact the labour market as a result,” says Kantheepan, “In many cases no training is available for local trades to undertake this work.”

As a result, external skilled laborers are brought into these communities to lead these projects. The new research seeks to help local workers transition between traditional construction and the assembly part of prefabricated construction.

According to Chen, the key to a successful training solution is affordability and accessibility. “Construction processes are usually complex and dynamic, that’s why we were focused on a solution that was simple to implement and intuitive to use.”

Prefabricated construction typically uses components made off-site that are transported to a location for assembly. For craftspeople, the process can be challenging because the steps do not mirror traditional construction.

Using the approved installation sequence as a foundation, the researchers created a step-by-step training module that uses 3D modelling to provide labours with a clear understanding of the process.

“Whether it’s a puzzle or Lego, a user can get lost in the assembly process, so this solution is intend on removing uncertainty while providing a clear and visually-appealing method of training,” explains Kantheepan.

While similar technology has been implemented within pre-fabrication factories, it is not the case within the construction industry. The researchers are hoping this new technology will further improve the success integration of prefabrication construction in Canada’s north and remote areas around the globe.

The research is published in the proceedings of the CONVR 2022, and was done in collaboration with the Professor Borja Garcia de Soto from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and was benefited from the collaboration with NYUAD Center for Interacting Urban Networks (CITIES) funded by Tamkeen under the NYUAD Research Institute Award.

Madison Smith is a fourth year mechanical engineering student at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering.

Why did you choose engineering?

Hi, my name is Madison. I am a fourth year mechanical engineering student at UBC Okanagan. I decided to choose engineering because I was really interested in math and science in high school, so I definitely knew that I wanted to go into some sort of STEM program. And I also really liked being creative, and so I was trying to find a way to mix the two. And engineering has actually a lot of creative aspects. So within design, there’s a lot of room to have your own input in the design as well incorporate mathematical calculations. I really love the combination of those two as well as the job prospects were really great.

When I decided to pursue my engineering degree, I also was really looking to develop a lot of my soft skills because I know when you enter the workforce you’re working in a lot of teams and a lot of projects, and so joining clubs is a way to get yourself exposed to working in teams with different people and building soft skills. For example, I’ve learned budgeting, event planning and those are things I just did not expect to learn while I was getting an engineering degree.

Why UBC Okanagan?

The main reason is the fact that it’s in the Okanagan. The Okanagan is probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in Canada, and that was definitely a big drawing factor for me as well as it being UBC itself. UBC has such a good reputation and as a person who is from a very small town.

Growing up in the Gulf Islands, coming to a city like Vancouver seemed like way too daunting for me. It was just much too big of a city. I also hoping for like a smaller campus dynamic. So, I really love the size of UBC Okanagan. I feel like I have really good relationships with my professors and I’ve become friends with a lot of my TAs as well.

Getting to know people in different programs, in graduate programs is really nice. And I also really love that there’s so many mountains nearby. The views are beautiful and Big Way Ski Resort is pretty close by and I really wanted to learn how to snowboard and I did!

Community is really important for me especially as an 18 year old moving away from home. And I think if you have a really good community around you, it allows you to be the best version of yourself because you’re more confident to go out and want to do things. You feel accepted. One thing that I found really interesting is coming back. I mean, we were I was part of the COVID year, so there was about a year we were fully online. But coming back, I realized the smaller campus dynamic made a huge difference in allowing me to have already established a strong community of friends and mentors on campus. And even when I go out, it’s like everywhere I go, I know somebody and it just makes you feel like you really belong on campus and even off of campus.

Why did you choose Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is such a diverse degree to have. It’s one of the reasons that I chose it.  I wanted something that was a little bit more open-ended.

I am in the biomedical option, and really love the option. I’m hoping to eventually work within the biomed field or something that is applicable to biomed. However, with a mechanical engineering degree, I may end up in aerospace or I could end up in biomed or maybe even automotive.

As of right now, once I graduate, I have an internship as a sales engineer.  It is kind of a career path I didn’t know about. You can work within sales and do technical sales or work to engineering products. As a sales engineer, I’ll be using the soft skills I’ve developed through extracurriculars including negotiating, presenting, and working with a team.

The opportunities are so broad, so I don’t exactly know where I’m going to end up. I mean, I am in my fourth year of a five year program and so soon I will figure out where I’m going to go. I have heard that engineers change their career paths like four or five times throughout their career.

Having a job lined up already, makes it less daunting heading towards graduation, knowing that I already have something lined up.

Tell us about your extra-curricular activities

In my third year, I helped host the Western Engineering Competition 2022 and that year was still somewhat mid-pandemic. We were hoping originally to have the event in person and it was quite a long and arduous process. Organizing a 350-person conference involves a lot of moving parts. We were hoping to have it in downtown Kelowna, but at the last minute we had to move it all online.

It was still such an amazing learning experience, and I got to work with an awesome team of people along with sponsors and companies. It felt like being in a professional environment while still being a student.

For me, I built a community through joining clubs. The first club that I actually joined was the Engineering Society, and I got exposed to so much more by going to conferences. I didn’t know that you could be traveling the country representing your school, but you can. And I met a lot of amazing people there and that helped me create really great bonds in my first year. And after that, I’ve continued being a part of the Engineering Society. As a group, we advocate for the student body. It’s a really great team of driven students and it’s a really great way to network.

Throughout my engineering degree, being part of the engineering society really allowed me to find a good group of students who were just as driven as me and interested in the same fields that I’m interested in.

Atousa Soltani is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus School of Engineering and a Product Developer at Lululemon.

Describe your academic journey

I graduated from University of Tehran with a Bachelors in Economics. My undergraduate studies specialized in theoretical economics which involved substantial mathematics and statistics courses, which later helped me in transitioning to Engineering. I then got a full scholarship to pursue my graduate studies at Simon Fraser University and graduated with a Masters in Economics. This was the beginning of a new journey for me. Immigrating to a different country on my own was a difficult transition and a huge risk that I’m happy I took.

During my graduate studies, I did my research studies on Development Economics and resources, which eventually got me interested in sustainable development and the circular economy. After graduation, I investigated opportunities to continue my studies in sustainability which I believed is the solution to many challenges facing the developing and developed world.

What drew you to UBC Okanagan?

During my search, I found Dr. Rehan Sadiq‘s research and the work he and his team were doing related to sustainability. Dr. Sadiq’s Lifecycle Management Lab undertakes research across a diverse multi-disciplinary field and that was exactly what I was looking for.

Right after my initial conversation with Dr. Sadiq, I was convinced that UBC Engineering was where I wanted to be. Dr. Sadiq became my supervisor and to this day I consider him my mentor and role model in leadership, kindness and thinking outside the box. Later, Dr. Kasun Hewage also joined as my co-supervisor and guided me on project management and industrial partnerships. I completed my PhD with a thesis on “Sustainable solutions for municipal solid waste treatment: a multi-stakeholder decision-making”, where I developed a novel decision support framework that guides stakeholders to reach an agreement on the most sustainable and pragmatic waste treatment option. The framework used game theory to help decision-makers reach the most efficient and sustainable solution for all parties. The research on alternative fuels, waste management and uncertainty decision-making was published in a number of prestigious scientific journals.

Describe your experience at the school of Engineering.

I met amazing people and scholars at the School of Engineering, and particularly within the Lifecycle Management Laboratory. School staff, Shannon Hohl and Renée Leboe, tirelessly guided graduate students and always treated me with kindness. As an international student and a woman in science, I appreciated our research team’s diversity and inclusion which made me feel seen and heard and helped me thrive in my studies.

My time at UBC School of Engineering was very fulfilling. From choreographing dances for our cultural events to working at UBC’s Disability Resource Centre, I’ve collected memories that I cherish forever. I even met my husband at the School of Engineering, which made my time at UBC that much more memorable and special.

What were some highlights?

During my studies at UBC, I received a scholarship in Teaching in Higher Education that enabled me to receive training and an opportunity to teach the “Engineering Economics” course to third year engineering students. Teaching a 200+ class was an unforgettable experience.

What was your transition to the workforce like?

School of Engineering at Okanagan campus is a research-based institution with a strong connection to the industry and community stakeholders. Students have opportunities to learn skillsets that will guide and support them in transitioning to the workforce. I was fortunate to gain valuable experience from leading research projects with organizations such as Health Canada, Metro Vancouver, and Climate Action Secretariat at BC Government.

Describe your role – how does it align to your studies?

I am a Product Developer at Lululemon where I develop accessories for lululemon’s special projects and external collaborations such as the Canadian Olympic Committee Team Canada apparel and school collaborations. My role has given me the opportunity to be part of Canadian Athlete’s journey at the World’s largest athletic stage, which has been an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

It is amazing to see that UBC and Lululemon have now expanded their partnership. Having been part of both, I am looking forward to the continuation of this collaboration on R&D and co-branded gears.